Downtown Provincetown Freeman Street History

Glimpse of Freeman Street Provincetown, Cape Cod

Glimpse of Freeman Street
Provincetown, Cape Cod

During the busy summer months its easy to miss all the lovely side streets in Provincetown which join the main two thoroughfares–Bradford Street and Commercial Street. The above postcard, a color lithographic print from the late 19th century is entitled “Glimpse of Freeman Street”. What you don’t see is the building , donated by Nathan Freeman in 1873, which once served as the Provincetown Public Library. The Freeman Street library opened to the public in June of 1874.  In the mystery novel Remaining in Provincetown by S.N. Cook, set in approximately 1990, the library is at that location on the corner of Freeman and Commercial Streets. Today the library resides in what was once the Center Methodist Episcopal Church built in 1860.  During the time period in which Remaining in Provincetown takes place, the building (once the Chrysler Art Museum) is still the Provincetown Heritage Museum. In 2005 it became the Provincetown Public LIbrary. Want to read a story that takes place in Provincetown a few decades ago? Remaining in Provincetown is available online and at your favorite bookstores. Like us on Facebook and keep the conversation going.

Remaining in Provincetown  By S.N.Cook.  Truro Works. 306 pages  $12.95 Trade Paperback

Remaining in Provincetown
By S.N.Cook.
Truro Works. 306 pages
$12.95 Trade Paperback

Like our facebook fan page and you may be selected to receive a FREE advance cppy!

Like our facebook fan page and you may be selected to receive a FREE advance cppy!

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Vacationing in Provincetown Cape Cod in 1911

Old colonial house by the sea in Provincetown, Cape Cod circa 1911

Old colonial house by the sea in Provincetown, Cape Cod circa 1911

A beautiful seaside setting in Provincetown, on the tip of Cape Cod, is depicted in this antique postcard. Labeled “Old Colonial House” I’m not certain where this is except to guess it looks to be on the West End of town, which is the older portion of Provincetown. The postcard was mailed in 1911 from Mary to Millie and here is what is says:

The wheel on the boat broke down and we were two hours late so missed the train and had to stay in Provincetown over Sunday. Stayed at the Gifford House and had a dandy time. It is just lovely here and the daisies and roses are so pretty. We went for a long walk this morning. We’ve had plenty of showers today but hope it is pleasant tomorrow.  Love from South Wellfeet.

So evidently Mary took the Boston Ferry Boat to Provincetown as the quickest way to get to South Wellfleet. At the time she was traveling, the train still carried passengers up and down Cape Cod. Her firiend, who she was writing to lived in Wollaston, Massachusetts.  People sometimes arrive  to places quite by accident and end up staying there, like some of the characters in the new murder mystery novel Remaining in Provincetown by S.N. Cook. Want to learn more?  Read the book now available online in trade paperback and  on kindle. Like us on Facebook and continue the conversation.

The Provincetown approach to wooing shoppers

purchased in 1940 This antique postcard shows the Town Crier Gift Shop.

purchased in 1940
This antique postcard shows the Town Crier Gift Shop.

Provincetown, Massachusetts has always been a mecca for shopping. It’s one of the busiest towns on the Outer Cape.  This postcard shows 265 Commercial Street, when it was the Town Crier Gift Shop. Prior to that time, this location was the home of the Advocate Gift and Souvenir Shop according to John Wright Hardy the author of Provincetown Vol. I. The gentleman in the pilgrim outfit standing outside the shop, which boasts itself as being the largest gift shop on Cape Cod, was not the official Town Crier for the town of Provincetown but was hired by the store to attract business. His name was Charles Walton. To learn more about Town Criers in Provincetown read some of our previous postings. To be entertained by a Provincetown mystery story read Remaining in Provincetown , available at bookstores and online in trade paperback and as an ebook. Like us on Facebook and keep the conversation going.

Provincetown Cape Cod vacation includes art gallery visits

Interior view of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum in 1940

Interior view of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum in 1940

The caption on the top of this vintage postcard sent in 1940 says “Provincetown Art Gallery” but those old timers familiar with the town will instantly recognize this photograph as the interior of the Provincetown Art Association founded in 1914 the way it used to look before various renovations and additions. The organization is now known as the Provincetown Art Association and Museum or PAAM for short.  If you are in Provincetown this weekend, you still have time to catch the “Art in the Garden” exhibit which includes work by Will Barnet, Mona Dukess, Pasquale Natale, Sideo Fromboluti, and Judith Shahn.  You can also attend the opening reception of the Jim Peters exhibition  this Friday ($10 admission to non-members of PAAM) Peters teaches painting and drawing at the Museum School at PAAM and is a member and former chair of the visual arts program committee at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.                                                     One of the characters in the new mystery novel Remaining in Provincetown, Annie Tinker, came to Provincetown to study at the FIne Arts Work Center. Is she a possible suspect? Or is it her husband Beau Costa who put the fatal bullet in Sonny Carreiro? You’ll have to read the book to find out. SIgned copies, while they last, are at the Provincetown Bookstore, or buy your trade paperback book online or as an ebook. Like us on Facebook and keep the conversation going.

Remaining in Provincetown  By S.N.Cook.  Truro Works. 306 pages  $12.95 Trade Paperback

Remaining in Provincetown
By S.N.Cook.
Truro Works. 306 pages
$12.95 Trade Paperback

Like our facebook fan page and you may be selected to receive a FREE advance cppy!

Like our facebook fan page and you may be selected to receive a FREE advance cppy!

Provincetown inns and guest houses offer quality lodging

Provincetown Cape Cod The Bradford Inn when postcards costs one penny to mail.

Provincetown Cape Cod
The Bradford Inn when postcards cost one penny to mail.

Inns or what have long been referred to as “Bed n” Breakfasts” and “Guest Houses”  enable Cape Cod visitors when staying in Provincetown to fully grasp the unique flavor of the town. As shown in the above postcard circa 1900,  gracious well maintained Inns have long been a Provincetown tradition. We have dozens of wonderful such places to stay in Provincetown, although you are cautioned to make your reservations early because the best ones fill up fast. One of our favorites is the Revere Guest House which has  been  featured on the HGTV  TV show “If Walls Could Talk”, The HGTV episode provides some insight into the history of the building, revealed by some unusual documents the owners found during renovations, not unusual in a town filled with history. Each room at the guest house  has a different name to characterize its slightly different amenities.    Decorating rooms to have a unique personality is something that one of the characters, Bruno Marchessi,  in the mystery novel Remaining in Provincetown is very proud of accomplishing in his own guest house “The Willows”. Set in Provincetown in early spring, before the start of the busy tourist season, this is a book that will get you in the mood for your visit. Curious to learn more? Visit our page on Facebook and become a fan. We’ll keep you posted with colorful snippets of Provincetown history. Buy a copy of the book, Remaining in Provincetown by S.N. Cook, available online and at bookstores. Purchase your copy now and become transported to another time and place.

HIghland Light Cape Cod’s famous Lighthouse

HIghland lightStanding on the unusual formation called Clay Pounds, one of the largest on the East Coast, the Highland Lighthouse in Truro, Cape Cod was built in 1797 and was the 7th lighthouse to be constructed in the United States.

Built on the highest cliff on Cape Cod, its location has been subject to severe erosion, as much as three feet per year! In 1996 to save the historic lighthouse, it was moved back 450 feet. When you visit, there is a museum on the property, the Highland House Museum with rotating exhibits and local history displays, maintained by the Truro Historical Society. 

The radio tower referred to as Radio Beacon in the postcard description was erected by the Navy as a communication station in World War II. The postcard was printed by E D. West and Company. More postcards of this beautiful lighthouse will be seen in subsequent postings on this Remaining in Provincetown website. Haven’t read the book yet? If you love the Outer Cape, Provincetown, or mysteries that involve old postcards and quirky people , this mystery novel is for you. Check us out on Facebook and Amazon. Join the conversation. Signed copies are currently available at the Provincetown Bookshop on Commercial Street in Provincetown as well as a variety of bookstores and online sites.  Happy Summer and enjoy the fireworks.

Long Point Lighthouse Provincetown Fishing Colony

Longpoint

This handsome antique postcard showing Long Point Lighthouse in Provincetown Massachusetts on the tip of Cape Cod shows houses set back beyond a lighthouse keeper’s building and the lighthouse itself. If you hike across the Provincetown breakwater on the west end of town, just beyond the Provincetown Inn and hike across the sand or visit Long Point by boat, you won’t see any  such buildings. The fishing village first settled in 1818, was at its height of prosperity in 1846.  There were 200 residents and 38 houses. They used cisterns to gather water and had their own salt works for fish processing. The lighthouse itself was established in 1826 and the current tower built in 1875. Automated in 1952 and currently solar powered, it shines a fixed green signal and blasts out a fog alert every 15 seconds.
So what happened to the village of Long Point and all those houses?  Most of them were floated across the bay during low tide on barrels and repositioned in Provincetown. Ceramic blue and white plaques identify some of the houses in town that were floated across the bay from Long Point.
There are many interesting stories about the town and if you were born in the town or have lived and worked in Provincetown for a number of years you learn thiings.. Curious to learn more? Read Remaining in Provincetown, the new mystery novel just released and available at bookstores, including the Provincetown Bookshop, and online in trade paperback and as an ebook at Amazon. Like us on Facebook and keep the conversation going.